The Daily Grind: 8-4-14 – Presented by FanDuel


  1. Opposite field hitting
  2. Daily DFS
  3. Tuesday Picks
  4. Table

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1. Opposite Field Hitting

Yesterday I briefly discussed pull hitters. The elite among those tend to be good power plays. Today we’ll look at wRC+ on hits to the opposite field. Theoretically, these players should have command of the whole field and thus be stable assets. We find a few surprises.

First up is Ryan Howard, who made his gravy on opposite field homers once upon a time. He’s still hitting it well to left, it’s actually hitting the ball where he struggles. Aside from the expected elite names, there are also Khris Davis, Matt Adams, Lucas Duda, Michael Morse, and most shockingly, Allen Craig among the powerful types. Next we find some slappy guys like Adam Eaton, Everth Cabrera, Lorenzo Cain, Scooter Gennett, Jon Jay, and D.J. LeMahieu. They’re the types that just look to rope line drives to the opposite field.

Three names leap off the page – Brock Holt, Corey Dickerson, and Josh Harrison. It’s encouraging to see breakout guys at the top of a leaderboard. Dickerson’s presence is especially encouraging because he’s also doing really well on pulled balls.

It’s just more food for thought, you can’t directly action this leaderboard.

2. Daily DFS

Yesterday’s Grind

Early: Tim Hudson and the Giants take on Dillon Gee and the Mets in today’s lone early game.

Late: We have six late games to juggle, most of which include really good pitching.

Nick Martinez opposes Hector Noesi at U.S. Cellular Field. As I wrote yesterday, this is the most obvious locale for offense. An extremely hitter friendly stadium is not a good place for a pitcher like Martinez. He’s a fly ball oriented swingman who has allowed more walks than strikeouts. Noesi is slightly better in that he strikes out almost double the number he walks, but he’s still prone to big blow ups.

Rapid Fire: The rest of your options are good guys with minor flaws. Brandon McCarthy has pitched very well but showed a home run problem earlier in the season. Plus the Tigers have a good offense. The Yankees can aim at the short porch against Max Scherzer. Alfredo Simon has to face a bunch of lefties at Progressive Field. Lastly, Kevin Gausman occasionally isn’t on top of his game.

3. Tuesday Picks

Pitchers to Start: I’m a fan of Josh Tomlin. His problem is he’s a fly ball pitcher with a pattern of allowing high HR/FB ratios. He missed most of the 2013 season, and he’s looked really good this year when not allowing home runs. He should be a useful platoon pitcher going forward, especially at home against righty-heavy lineups. The Reds have a couple notable lefties, but most of their power comes from the right side. He’s opposed by Johnny Cueto, so don’t get too excited.

Phil Hughes versus Jesse Hahn has plenty of upside for both pitchers. The Twin and Padres lineups are pretty weak, and Target Field is one of the best pitcher venues in the league. Both pitchers can pick up strikeouts, so flip a coin.

Pitchers to Exploit: Kyle Kendrick is an adequate rotation plug for a real team, but he’s had a tough go of it this season. The Astros are usually a good matchup for pitchers, but I suspect they’ll jump on Kendrick early before he settles in.

The Pirates will see Brad Hand. He was somebody I was mildly excited about headed into the season, but his peripherals have been terrible. I thought he could put up a Dallas Keuchel quality strikeout rate, but I was wrong.

Colby Lewis has to contend with U.S. Cellular Bandbox in a year where everything is falling for a hit. I had a college season where I allowed something like a .450 BABIP, so I can sympathize with his .382 BABIP clunker season. John Danks really needs to relocate somewhere like Cleveland, where righty power goes to die.

Homer prone Tim Lincecum has a start at Miller Park. Keep an eye out for long balls. He’s opposed by Jimmy Nelson. He’s been inconsistent through four major league outings.

Travis Wood is in the midst of his worst major league season. A start at Coors Field isn’t likely to help. The Rockies are a little shorthanded on good righty bats, so that could work in Wood’s favor. Opposing Wood is Brett Anderson. He’s pitched well enough this year, but the Cubs have good team numbers against lefties without factoring in Coors Field.

Jason Hammel has been so bad since joining the A’s that I’m going to throw his name in here. He’ll face the Rays. Tampa will throw new acquisition Drew Smyly, who will have to solve several potent right-handed batters.

Hitters (power): If he starts, Scott Van Slyke is a good play against Hector Santiago. Justin Turner is drawing leadoff duty when Dee Gordon is out.

Derek Norris, Stephen Vogt, and Jonny Gomes are among your options against Smyly.

Matt Joyce is worth a glance.

Drew Stubbs should be rostered against Wood.

Perhaps Gerardo Parra will do something against Lincecum.

I’d grab up any and all Rangers and White Sox for tomorrow’s game.

Gaby Sanchez has a start coming.

Hitters (speed): Justin Ruggiano and Arismendy Alcantara are good plays against Anderson.

Adam Eaton is slapping the crap out of the ball. Expect no power due to a broken finger, but that’s let him focus on spraying the ball and running.

4. Table

The table below indicates which stadiums have the best conditions for hitters today. The color coding is a classic stoplight where green equals go for hitters. The weather conditions are from SI Weather’s home run app. A 10/10 means great atmospheric conditions for home runs. A 1/10 means lousy atmospheric conditions.

The White Sox have a 40 percent chance of storms. Hopefully the storms pass by, because that’s where everyone will be going for offense today.

The Link. We have obvious choices in stadium quality today.

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of FanDuel. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.

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Brad is a former collegiate player who writes for FanGraphs, The Hardball Times, RotoWorld, MLB Trade Rumors, and The Fake Baseball. Follow him on Twitter @BaseballATeam or email him here.

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